For the past 15 years, Hector McAdam has been somewhat of a drifter having left his small Scottish village Hector found solace moving from shelter to shelter in various parts of the UK. Hector might be in his latter years but each Christmas he finds himself traveling to London to visit a homeless refuge where he has friends.
After years of drifting, in a bid to reunite with his family, Hector takes steps to track down and find his brother and find a way to begin to make amends for his constant absence.
Hector once again takes to the road and begins a journey that will take various turns - both emotionally and physically. Even though the setting of Hector's life is one of sorrow, his personality and resilience makes for a heart-warming look at life.
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All right... so we don't have to wait till the sequel to see Emily Watson be cremated and we don't have to sit through two hours and twenty minutes of a film that make a suicidal lemming seem like a happy chump, but The Closer You Get isn't exactly a movie that sketches the Irish as progressing far into their adulthood. In store for Irish men in adulthood is a simple life of multiple pints of flat Guinness combined with a sexual desperation so great that the Irish men take out a want ad in the Miami Herald.
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An amusing but forgettable, light rural comedy from Ireland, the generically titled "The Closer You Get" is another aren't-men-adorable-dimwits satire, about the lonely lads of a craggy coastal hamlet who concoct a inept plan to import sexy American girls for courting.
With most of the local gals unavailable or uninterested, this desperate lot of paunchy, pasty, ruddy Irishmen (lead by Ian Hart, "Backbeat") buy a classified in the Miami Herald advertising for marriage-minded, "attractive girls 20 to 21." Then they smarten themselves up as best they can and start a daily stakeout at the bus stop just outside town, anticipating the arrival of interested parties.
Of course, its a foredrawn conclusion that none show up and the men will pair off with local lassies after all -- but only after becoming jealous when the likable village women conspire to mock them by romancing a gypsy-like band of seasonal Spanish fishermen.
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The unimpeachable talents of Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan and Emily Mortimer go for naught in "Young Adam," a film of dark, disenchanting characters who tread water in moral ambiguity for 98 minutes.
McGregor plays Joe, a nebulous, failed beatnik writer who has deliberately dropped off the face of the earth by taking a grimy, hard-labor job, working (and living) on a cramped little coal barge that travels the shallow, narrow backwater canals of 1950s Glasgow. Vacant of disposition and void of moral fiber, he's become both a reluctant drinking buddy to his boss Les (Mullan, "Session 9") and an opportunistic lover to the boss's weary, vinegary wife Ella (Swinton, "The Deep End"), which soon upends all their lives.
Proving he hasn't abandoned his provocative sensibilities to Hollywood, McGregor makes Joe's soulless impalpability curiously absorbing in a performance full of furtive nuance and vague instability -- the signs of which grow as he finds a young woman's dead body in the water and director David Mackenzie slowly reveals that his protagonist may have had something to do with how she got there in the first place.
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